So we here in the Slashdot crowd are the first ones to laugh at businesses that fail to stay ahead of the technology curve. AOL and their endless CDs, RIM getting destroyed by iPhones and Android phones, Yahoo's failure to recognize that Google's advantage comes from more than just its search algorithms, et al. A common theme through all of these dramatic implosions is that the old business model strangled the new, and that the leadership of these companies was unwilling to take the short-term pain hit to prepare for the future. Yet Netflix is doing just that, and they meet with even more derision because it's going to screw up the existing customer base.
Do any of us believe that DVDs via USPS are the future of content delivery? Of course not. Could Netflix have spun it a little better? Sure, but there's a whole set of reasons that moving away from your established business model is considered painful, and one of those is that it's going to piss off the established base and cost you some lost business. A little more artistry in the transition would have been nice, but anyone who thinks that this move is going to kill off Netflix is probably mistaken. They are being remarkably honest about it all.
The DVD business is dying fast, and they know it. Direct content delivery is the growth industry that is disrupting DVDs (and eventually CDs, games, and packaged software) out of existence, and they're jumping to the new ship before the old one is sunk.